Are dairy farmers' prices impacted by the use of dairy ingredients in cheesemaking?
When I first met the late Senator Arlen Specter, he showed a substantial concern about the importation of some dairy products such as casein, etc. Senator Specter was instrumental in slowing down the imports of casein into the United States.
The main reason was that casein was being used in imitation dairy products and causing problems for dairy farmers. At that time casein was not produced in the United States.
Later on, I attended a meeting in Syracuse with various farm organizations from all across the Eastern part of the U.S.. They were considering the possibility of money being made available to manufacturers of milk products, and they wanted some of these funds to go and create a manufacturing plant to manufacture casein. I appeared to be the only one opposing these plants, because casein was the main protein product used in imitation dairy products.
Look where we have gone with imitation dairy products since that day!
Now I have an important question to ask to anyone and everyone. I held off this question for quite a while, but now I’m going to ask it: Why is the dairy industry extracting certain ingredients from milk and then using the ingredients to increase the yield of cheese by at least up to 30 or 40%?
I have checked with a leading university and they verify that cheese makers may increase their yield by 40% by using dairy ingredients instead of regular milk.
Is this a program to increase the quality of cheese, or maybe a better question would be, to better the taste of cheese, or is it simply to increase the profit of the cheese makers. To heck with the prices paid to dairy farmers and to heck with the consumers who are concerned about the taste, quality and value of some of the cheeses?
And is it wise to use ultra-filtered milk to standardize cheese?
Remember these ingredients are used in hundreds of other products in place of using normal powdered milk.
The big question is, is the use of these milk ingredients and ultra-filtered milk instead of regular milk, and using less whole powered milk, is all this creating a false assumption of a big increase in milk production?
It’s time this potential problem be investigated.
Tewksbury is the manager of Progressive Agriculture Organization